Win Loss Analysis is vital to the success of a sales team. It's how you ensure that mistakes are not repeated. It's how sales figures can grow month on month and year on year. It's basically how a salesperson and a sales team can learn from mistakes and ensure that they are not repeated the next time. It's also important to the quality of the customer experience - and therefore the customer is usually very happy to take part in the study.
What is covered in Win Loss Analysis?
The aim of Win Loss Analysis is to understand one of two areas:
1) Why did you win the sales engagement?
2) Why did you lose the sales engagement?
Both are equally important to understand if a sales team is to ensure that they win more, and lose less. It is easy to simply move on from a win and assume that everything went according to plan - but that is rarely the case. There is always room for improvement. It's also important to understand why the customer chose you so that you can keep using the same successful tactics.
A loss can be one of the most valuable ways to learn about sales technique, strategy, and product/service capability. Understanding why a customer chose not to buy will help a business to change a variety of different aspects of its selling motion.
How do you run Win Loss Analysis?
Running Win Loss Analysis is simple in many ways, it just needs:
1) A willing customer who will be open to providing feedback.
2) An interviewer with the ability to ask direct questions - and ideally one that is not tied to the selling business in any way.
Most interviews take between 30-45 minutes if they are conducted effectively. They should prompt the customer to answer questions in a safe and open environment. It's all about learning - and therefore the interviewer should listen much more than they speak.
Having an impartial interviewer - someone not associated with the selling team or the business, is absolutely critical. The customer should feel able to be direct in their answers without any worry of offending the interviewer.
Ideally, the Win Loss Analysis should take place on every single deal. It's the best way to find common answers and build an accurate viewpoint. It also enables the sales team to monitor improvements over time and ensure that any learning points improve future performance.
The results of the Win Loss Analysis should be monitored regularly and shared with the sales teams - at all levels. Any and all feedback is valuable. It must be translated into improved performance and then monitored over time.
As more interviews are conducted, and as each one brings new insights or reinforces a particular issue, sales performance will improve, product and marketing teams will develop their solutions and messaging - and sales will go in the right direction.